Bosco Lab

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Daryl A. Bosco, PhD (Principal Investigator)
Professor of Neurology

Dr. Bosco earned her Ph.D. (bio-organic chemistry) in 2003 from Brandeis University, where she used NMR spectroscopy to study enzyme dynamics, and was then a post-doctoral fellow in the lab of Jeffery W. Kelly at the Scripps Research Institute, studying misfolding of a Parkinson’s disease-associated protein. Prior to joining the faculty at UMMS in 2008, Dr. Bosco was an Instructor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School working with Dr. Robert H. Brown, Jr. on various aspects of ALS.

Meenakshi Sundaram (Sundar) Kumar 
PhD Candidate, BMP program

Sundar obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degree in biology from the Indian Institute of Science in 2016. During his thesis work in the Bosco lab from 2017 on, Sundar has co-developed and characterized biologics against misfolded SOD1 and has identified aberrant liquid-liquid phase transitions between ALS/FTD-linked FUS protein and the nucleoporin Nup62. Sundar has expertise in protein expression and purification, biophysical techniques for assessing protein-protein interactions, cell culture and molecular biology techniques. 

Salome Funes

PhD Candidate, Translational Science Program

Recipient of the SfN 2021 TPDA Award

Salome graduated from the Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas - ESPE (Ecuador) with a BS in Biotechnology and briefly studied infectious diseases as a research assistant at INSPI-IEE before entering the PhD program at the University of Massachusetts in 2016.  Salome joined the Bosco lab in 2017 and is currently pursuing projects related to the effect of ALS mutations on PFN1 function, including the effects of ALS-linked mutations on actin dynamics and in microglial function. Salome has expertise in iPSC cell culture, microglia biology, quantitative immunofluorescence microscopy, and bioinformatics. 

Jianjun Zhong, MD, PhD

Visiting Scholar 

Jianjun graduated from the Chongqing Medical University (China) with MD and PhD degrees in Neurosurgery and has been working in the CQMU 1st hospital as a resident and then attending neurosurgeon since 2017. He joined the Bosco lab as a visiting scholar in 2019 with a three year scholarship from CQMU 1st hospital to pursue projects related to the effects of head trauma on dementia-related neurodegeneration. Jianjun has expertise in brain surgeries, animal models of head trauma/ traumatic brain injury (TBI), longitudinal intravital imaging on mice implanted with cranial windows, histology and animal behavior testing. 

Nicholas Jacques 

PhD Candidate, BMP program

Nicholas graduated from Providence College in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry. Nicholas worked under Dr. Ana Griciuc at Massachusetts General Hospital studying a CD33 model of Alzheimer’s disease in microglia. Nicholas enrolled at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 2020 to pursue a PhD in basic and biomedical sciences studying familial ALS related PFN1 variants under Dr. Daryl Bosco and Dr. Francesca Massi. Nicholas utilizes in cellulo and in vitro biochemical and biophysical assays to study protein-protein interactions.

Megan Fowler-Magaw

PhD Candidate, Neuroscience program

Megan received her Bachelor of Science from Northeastern University in Boston where she studied Behavioral Neuroscience. Following graduation, she spent two years researching the role of chondrocytes and effect of lubricin deficiency on cartilage as a technician in the orthopedic department at Boston Children's Hospital. Megan joined the Bosco lab in 2021 to study the role and targets of TDP-43 and FUS in ALS and under conditions of stress.

Karly Stallworth 


Karly earned her bachelor’s degree in neuroscience with a cellular path in 2021 from Assumption University where she completed her undergraduate Honor’s thesis on “Comparison of DHA Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Curcumin in ß-amyloid Clearance and Alzheimer’s Deceleration”. She has 5 years of experience as a nursing assistant taking care of geriatric residents in assisted living, many of which suffered from Dementia, Alzheimer’s, and some from Parkinson’s. Karly joined the Bosco lab in 2021 through an NINDS supplement award to study impaired nucleocytoplasmic transport resulting from mutant FUS in ALS. Karly is also interested in the role of impaired stress response in ALS/FTD.

Hayden Gadd 


Hayden received his bachelor's in neuroscience and biology at Hampshire College with intercollegiate certificates in American Sign Language and cognitive neuroscience. His thesis focused on the interaction of UBQLN2 and TDP-43 in both BV2 microglia and NIH 3T3 fibroblasts. Hayden joined the Bosco lab in 2021 following graduation to study the effect of ALS-linked PFN1 mutations on microglial function. Outside of the lab, he enjoys mixing and performing music, continuing his Sign Language practice, and tinkering with microcomputers.

Debra Cameron 

Research Associate

Debra graduated from the University of Alaska with a BS in Biological Sciences. She has worked on a variety of studies exploring potential ALS therapeutics & understanding the molecular and genetic causes of ALS. Debra is currently assisting with projects focused on the effects of head trauma on dementia-related neurodegeneration, and the effects ALS mutations on PFN1 function. 

Former Bosco Lab Members

Graduate Students

Post-Doctoral Fellows
  • Dr. Ozge Yildiz - University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA. 
  • Dr. Kristin Boggio - Principal Scientist - Protein Mass Spectrometry at Pfizer, Inc., Greater Boston.
  • Dr. Jeanne McKeon -  Senior Medical Writer at Envision Pharma Group, New York City Metropolitan Area.
  • Dr. Heather Yonutas - AAV Gene Therapy R&D Program Lead, Voyager Therapeutics, Inc. Cambridge, MA.

  • Katherine Gall - former laboratory technician, currently Senior Research Associate at Homology Medicines, Inc., MA.
  • Dr. Nathan Lemay - former laboratory technician, Family Medicine Specialist in Manchester, CT.
  • Dr. Desiree M. Baron - former Research Associate, Research Associate II at University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA. 

Summer/Undergraduate/post-Bac Students
  • Erika SerannoDiaz- Former post-bac PREP student, currently a graduate student at John Hopkins, MD.
  • Frank Trujillo -  Former summer student researcher, currently a medical student at Albany Medical College in New York.
  • Jesus Frias - Former summer student researcher, currently attending University at Albany - SUNY, NY.
  • Victoria Botelho -   Former undergraduate researcher, currently attending nursing school. 
  • Kiera Sapp -  Former summer student, currently a graduate student at MIT, MA.

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